Bakersfield Mist

Straightjacketproductions Bakersfield Mist John Wood and Julie Nihill - photo by Gina MiliciaIs the true value of art in the eye of the beholder? Maude, a fifty-something unemployed bartender living in a trailer park, has bought a painting for a few bucks from a thrift store. Despite almost trashing it, she’s now convinced it’s a lost masterpiece by Jackson Pollock worth millions.

But when world-class art expert Lionel Percy flies over from New York and arrives at her trailer home in Bakersfield to authenticate the painting, he has no idea what he is about to discover. This thought-provoking new comedy-drama asks vital questions about what makes art and people truly authentic.

Directed by Lucy Freeman and starring Australian acting legends Julie Nihill (The Young Doctors, Prisoner, Sons and Daughters and Blue Heelers) as Maude and John Wood (Gold Logie Winner, Blue Heelers) as Lionel, Bakersfield Mist is based on a true story – a hilarious collision of cultures and class attitudes that goes beyond the subject of painting to be an exploration of the nature of authenticity in art and in life.

Stephen Sachs is an award-winning American playwright and director, and the co-Artistic Director of the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles, which he co-founded in 1990. In addition to Bakersfield Mist, his credits as a playwright include: The Baron in the TreesThe Golden Gate (1991), Sweet Nothing in My Ear, Mother’s Day, Central AvenueOpen WindowGilgamesh, and Miss Julie: Freedom Summer. 

“It’s exhilarating in the extreme when a play strikes rich on every conceivable level … A wry two-hander that handles highbrow artistic issues while zinging in plenty of uproarious one-liners. A perfect marriage of emotion and ideas that is rare indeed.” – Los Angeles Times

Director: Lucy Freeman Featuring: Julie Nihill, John Wood Designer: Jill Munro Lighting Designer: Scott Allan Sound Designer: Heath Brown Touring Technician: Max Ford

Produced by the Tasmanian Theatre Company and Straightjacket Productions, Bakersfield Mist is currently on an extensive tour throughout Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania until September. For more information and performance schedule, visit: for details.

Image: John Wood and Julie Nihill star in Bakersfield Mist – photo by Gina Milicia